Liz Campbell is a freelance journalist, and has been most of her life. In the course of her career, she has travelled to dozens of different countries, most notably Malaysia, Norway, Wales, China, Hong Kong, Tanzania, and Botswana. She chose these countries to mention in the interview because of the experiences she had there, rather than their beauty or culture. She has covered stories ranging from cultural influences, to history, to conflict, to profile pieces. She has been a writer for more than half her life. She enjoys travelling with others, especially to help bounce ideas of how to cover certain topics. She’s travelled with other journalists, significant others, and on her own.
She speaks fondly of Tanzania when she spent two years there, over twenty years ago. She enjoyed her experience and even climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and received a bouquet of everlasting flowers as a prize. When she and her boyfriend returned twenty-five years later, it wasn’t the same experience. She described the experience as being “vivid and disturbing”. Tanzania hadn’t changed much from the developing country it had been when she first visited. Instead, everything was much worse. There was an outbreak of AIDS, and a lot of violence and danger. Certain precautions had to be taken in the city, Dar Es Salaam; such as turning in before it got dark. It was a very dangerous city while they were there. There was conflict in Botswana as well. She found herself restricted from certain places when she was in Mexico due to rebel activity in Chiapas. However, her trip wasn’t affected in any real way due to these conflicts.
She has been on many press trips throughout her career. Sometimes she had a guide, and other times she was on her own to explore and talk to the people there. A guide was helpful to show her all of the places to go to, but it appears that she enjoys travelling without a guide. Guides didn’t necessarily limit her experiences, however, she found she discovered more about the countries and cities she was in by talking to the locals and having them show her what their culture and the beauty of their cities are all about.
Liz has always spoken fondly of her travels in other countries. It is not unusual for her to talk about the positive aspects of her trips. She rarely brings up the negative experiences. Would she recommend travelling to other countries and writing about them? Yes, she would in the end, but as always, you must be careful.